Sigmund Freud

The question concerning the human life is one that has been provided many different answers for a very long time. Man has been trying hard to understand this concept and as a result come up with different theories and models in explaining it. These theories have provided varying answers to this question. Some of the theorists who have come forward to explain this question are William Fairbairn and Sigmund Freud. It has been revealed through research that the structural model of the psyche as put forward by Fiarbairn is completely different, and in fact an objection to the structure theory constructed by Sigmund Freud. The two theories provide different approaches to the study of psyche. While Freud creates the model of drivestructure, Fairbairn comes up with a completely different model of relationalstructure model. The two models have become very important resource in psychoanalysis. Despite this the uses of the two have been employed differently owing to the fact that the two are different. While the theory of Freud has been in use for a long time, the theory of Fairbairn has increased in popularity just recently. This does not mean that the model of Freud is no longer used (Mitchell and Black, p. 34). This paper seeks to prove that against the theory of Fairbairn, the theory of the drivestructure is the only fundamental basis of understanding psyche.    

Sigmund Freud is the brain behind the drivestructure theory as detailed in his book Freud argues that life is determined by the pleasure principle. Life is a continuous pursuit of happiness. This means that happiness or pleasure is the primary element in life. According to Freud, there is no provided meaning of human life. Religion as it tries to give the purpose of life is mistaken. It is simply a childish desire in a mature person to get back the protective figure of childhood. The concept of religion comes up where human beings seek to distance themselves from the suffering in the world. This is one way that human beings use to adapt to the world that is full of suffering. The ego comes up from when one is young over the oceanic feeling when one realizes that there are some destructive features of reality that he or she wants to avoid in life. At the same time, to ago hopes to avoid unhappiness and the aspects of reality that denies it pleasure. It is for this reason that the ego establishes itself in such a way that it hopes to achieve pleasure. The adaptation of the ego in what Sigmund refers to as the pleasure principle is where it realizes that the reality has to be encountered. Freud puts forward the claim that the purpose of life is simply the programme of the pleasure principle (Freud, 1989, p, 62). Freud in his theory provides the different ways through which human beings are able to adapt to the world such that they are able to secure pleasure. In his theory he provides three basic elements that cause unhappiness. The three are our own painful and mortal existence, the cruel and destructive aspects of the natural world, and the suffering endemic of the reality that we must live with other human beings in a society. According to fraud the last aspect is perhaps more painful to us than any other (Freud, 1989, p, 81).
One of the ways that Freud puts forward for the achievement of happiness is intoxication. Though the working of this method is not fully understood, there are some chemicals when introduced to the body tends to cause sensations of happiness. There are some elements that are natural to the body that operates in the same way as intoxication. This is for example what is commonly known as mania, which is a pathological state. Similarly the natural mental state has the tendency of experiencing pleasure while other times it exhibits displeasure. The element of intoxication does not only work to provide pleasure but also to offer some aspects of independence from the world that causes displeasure. The other way of escaping displeasure is through what is commonly known as Yoga. This is where the person practicing it gives up all the activities, seen as sacrificing all his life to achieve the pleasure of quietness. This is what happens when human beings are attempting to control their institutional life. The other way of avoiding suffering is by employment of displacement of libido. This is the element through which the mental components allow of and via which its functioning achieves flexibility. The mechanism in this case is the shifting of instinctual aspirations in a manner that they cannot arise against suffering from the outside environment. The model provides many other ways that an individual seeks to find pleasure. While some are through escaping from the external world that cause suffering and displeasure, other are through coming into contact with the world, thus coming out with strong aspects that lead one from the displeasure. Through the understanding of the different ways through which the body derives pleasure, it is easy to evaluate and analyze the psyche (Freud, p. 42).

Freud held to the belief that human beings are driven by two key desires. The first one is the life drive, which is the libido or the Eros. The other drive is the death drive which is known as Thanatos. His definition of Cathexis, whose energy is referred to as Libido, comprises of all the creative, life-rendering forces. The anticathesis are the forces that are natural to all human beings to go back to the state of quietness, which is the state of death. His approach to the contradiction between the two drives is the definition of happiness and unhappiness. Freud defines unpleasure as the stimulus that the body obtains. Pleasure on the other hand is as a result of the reduction in the stimulus. If happiness goes up as the stimuli goes down, then the final experience of happiness would be zero. This is according to Freud, death.  Freud acknowledges the propensity of the unconscious to go over unpleasurable occurrences so as to cause death to the body, or to desensitize it. This tendency is what explains the nightmares that happen in dreams. Nightmares are repeated in just the same way as the unpleasurable experiences in life (Freud, p. 72).  

The Rebuttal
The model of William Fairbairn is a complete refute to the theory of Sigmund Freud as will be established in this section of the paper. The theory of Fairbairn is a distinctive psychoanalytic model that has become widely used in psychoanalysis. His theory is basically on human object relatedness. This is why it is known as relationalstructure theory. The model of Fairbairn is a total rejection to the structural theory as developed by Freud. Fairbairns model is aimed at completely discarding the drivestructure model. He revealed human beings as being object-related by their innate character. His fundamental unit of evaluation is the self-in relation to others. The relationship with the outside world is basically in relation to the others. Fairbairn argues that the self is innate and that the only way to understand it is by evaluating its relationships that it has. According to Fairburn the shape of the self grows and changes from its experience in relationships, while at the same time the nature of the relationships it has are being shaped and changed by that self (Fairbairn, 1952 p 7). The theory reduces the study of the human psyche to the analysis of relationships. Unlike the views of Freud, Fairbairn maintains that the self expresses itself continues to develop (Fairbairn, p. 32).

It is argued that the theory of Fiarbairn, unlike that of Freud provides greater weight to the study of intrapsychic functioning. It provides deeper understanding of the inner world, unlike the drivestructure model that focuses a lot on the external world as related to the life drive or the death drive. Fairbairn holds that the interpersonal and the intrapsychic realms create, interpenetrate, and transform each other in a subtle and complex manner (Fairbairn, 1952 p. 9). This is what makes the theory a relational one and as such more superior to the drivestructure theory (Fairbairn, p. 91).

Key to the concept of Freud of the organization of the psyche is the basic subsistence of energetic, chaotic unit, the id. The basic principle is the instant and haphazard discharge of its stimulus-associated and endogenous pleasure. According to his theory, the creation of the ego is in order to create contact between the psyches energetic foundations in the id and the reality of the outside world. From this point of view, Freud alienated the structure that is used in the achievement of self-expression from the energy inside the self that is need of being expressed. This where there is conflict between the two theorists. Fairbairn adapted the conception that it is not possible to alienate the structure and the energy. He argued that both structure divorced from energy and energy divorced from structure are meaningless concepts (Fairbairn, 1952, p. 149). The structure is the one that provides form to the energy. Additionally, there is no way that the energy can exist devoid of the form, cannot be considered apart from the endopsychic structures which they energize and the object relationships which they enable these structures to establish and, equally, instincts cannot profitably be considered as anything more than forms of energy which constitute the dynamic of such endopsychic structures (Fairbairn, 1952 p. 85).

Fairbairn completely inverts the position held by Freud in maintaining that the relationship with the object is the main objective and that happiness is only a secondary result. He thereby wrote that The function of libidinal pleasure is essentially to provide a signpost to the object (Fairbairn, 1952, p. 33), and added that The real libidinal aim is the establishment of satisfactory relationship with objects (Fairbairn, 1952, p. 138). To him the pleasure principle instead of being a general principle of self-expression represents a worsening of behavior. This means that contrast to what Freud argues happiness or pleasure is not the fundamental principle (Mitchell and Black, p. 62).

The reply to rebuttal
The structural theory is the basic concept in the definition of psychoanalysis in general. Therefore acceptance of the theory by Fairbairn in totality means abandoning the structural theory by Freud. There is no way of fully understanding this area without reference to drivestructure theory. It is the starting point in understanding psychoanalysis. This means that it is not possible to completely abandon the drivestructure theory in psychoanalysis. It is important to note that even the British object-relations philosophers like Winnicott (1965), have made efforts to maintain the connection with the theory of Freud. It means that the theory was and remains superior to all the other theories developed there after, this includes the relationalstructure model (Mitchell and Black, p. 123).

Despite the fact that Fairbairn tried to completely divert from the drivestructure theory, he has used some terminologies that are directly obtained from the theory. This only means that there is no way of abandoning this theory completely. Its importance is evident in the theory of Fairbairn who was employing a lot of effort to completely divert from the theory. Even in his theory, he used terms like ego and libidinal in very important parts in his model. This is despite the fact that their use is not completely similar as in the drivestricture theory. Fairbairns employment of the term object is misleading. This is due to the fact that it does not begin with conveying its extensively departure from the drivestructure theoretical concept of object. This reveals the fact that there is no revealed distinction between object in the theory by Fairbairn and that of Freud. Despite the fact that Fiarbairn carefully defines the terms that he borrows from the drivestructure theory, his employment of the language of the model by Freud, caused a lot of confusion into the comprehension of his work. It is evident that despite the efforts of Fairbairn to discard the drivestructure model, he could not achieve this without an impact to his own work.

Despite the fact that the relationship between self and others is important in understanding life, it is not the basic unit. Just as put forward by Freud, it is important to understand individuals drive in life. This is also the only way of understanding these human relations. By studying the psyche as an analysis of the relationships, the theory of Fairbairn looses the meaning of individuality. This is what is captured in the theory of Freud. It is possible through the employment of the drivestructure model, to study the psyche without the analysis of relationships. It would be significant for Fairbairn to expand on the drivestructure model so as to begin from the self as a separate entity, and then go on to study its relationship with others (Freud, p. 91).  

The theory of Fairbairn establishes the idea of the self as a fundamental departure. For him, it is not a self-concept, or self-representation. It is always transformed by the relationships. It does not exist in itself without the relationship. This is not true because the self is a separate entity first and should thus be viewed and evaluated as such before considering its relationship with the object. The object is not more important than the self as Fairbairn claims.  Despite the fact that it is possible for the self to be shaped and transformed by its relationship with others, and does partly define itself in connection to those relations, it can express itself, and exists separate and before the relations (Freud, p. 101).  
It is only through the study of the external world that it is possible to understand life. This is because although the internal environment is important in understanding the human psyche, what impacts more on it is the external environment. It is the external environment that either gives or denies people the will to continued living. Where the external environment presents harsh conditions to a person, it denies him pleasure and hence the enthusiasm to continue living. This is what determines the nature of life that a person leads and his state of thought (Freud, p. 102).  

It is misleading for Fairbairn to claim that happiness if a secondary consequence.  This is because as Freud put it pleasure is what life is all about. Most of the things that human beings involve themselves in are in pursuit of pleasure. Pleasure principle there fore remains the basic principle and is therefore not a deterioration of behavior as argued by Fairbairn (Freud, p.65).  

This paper seeks to prove that against the theory of Fairbairn, the theory of the drivestructure is the only fundamental basis of understanding psyche. It has been revealed from the research that the theory of Fairbairn is completely different from that of Freud. While Freud model is drivestructure model, the one for Fairbairn is relationalstructure model. The theory of fraud is superior to that of Fairbairn in that it starts as its basic level, the individual. On the other hand the basic level for the theory of Fairbairn is the relationship between the self and other. It is not possible to evaluate the relationship before determining the drive to that relationship. It is evident from the research that despite the fact that other theories of psychoanalysis have come up, the drivestructure theory remains superior to all the others.


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